Clayton Kershaw has cleared what the Los Angeles Dodgers are calling the final hurdle between him and a return from injury, reports ESPN.
The starting pitcher has not been seen in the Dodgers lineup since taking to the field in the opening game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia.
After throwing some bullpen sessions, Kershaw was sent to the minor league Chattanooga, Tennessee for two rehab starts. He pitched five innings Wednesday and the Dodgers are satisfied that he is ready to return.
Kershaw struck out nine batters Wednesday, allowing two runs, one earned. In total, he threw 86 pitches and walked two batters.
His teammates made three errors while he gave up six hits.
It was a stark improvement on his first minor league start, where he threw just 56 pitches over five innings. The Dodgers wanted to get Kershaw fit to throw upwards of 100 pitches before naming him in the team and he has now proved capable.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Kershaw would be allowed to return once he threw 8- pitches and he has now done that.
Judging by how upset Kershaw was when told he would have to start a second minor league game, Mattingly better keep his word.